By way of DISH Team Summit, Facebook, and a pair of low resolution videos we learn that not only is Channel Master getting real close to launching those “Linear Channels” of Internet content on DVR+, they’re also landing a SlingTV app. I’ve taken the liberty of concatenating the two grainy show-floor quick-takes (above) but intend to ping Channel Master to see how they feel if I shoot my own video (as I did for DVR+ upon release).

As the story goes, DVR+ is a fee-free, dual-tuning, over-the-air DVR (1TB, $400). That briefly lost its luster given TiVo Roamio OTA pricing that turned out to be a limited time offer (or another marketing mistake). However, TiVo’s return to unfavorable pricing makes DVR+, with the option of Sling TV, a highly compelling solution for a number of cord cutters. Continue Reading…

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Roll-your-own home automation remains something of a niche endeavor, despite an accelerating mainstream shopping push, given a whole host of compatibility considerations and complexity … that many of us are likely familiar with. It probably doesn’t help that Apple’s HomeKit is largely a no-show at this point and LG rival Samsung has delayed their SmartThings refresh. And perhaps why someone like Comcast, with existing relationships and network, sees an opportunity to similarly mate retail gadgetry to cloud-based services. Amidst this chaos, ADT also drops their hat into the ring with an attractive piece of LG hardware and promises to link up Nest, IFFT, and others:

This sleek all-in-one combines beautiful form with the functions of HD video, ADT 24/7 professional monitoring and seamless home automation. And its powerful yet compact design complements your modern home while keeping you in touch with it, right from your phone.

The monitoring hub, perhaps akin to iControl’s Piper, doesn’t yet have a name. Nor does the service have a price. Also unclear… might this somehow tie into the ADTs rumored investment in Zonoff, who we admire as the brains behind Staples Connect. In any event, ADT is planning a Fall 2015 release at which point all will be revealed.

Plex to hit TiVo come June 8th (or sooner…)

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 13, 2015 — 6 Comments

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Samsung answers the Apple Watch Digital Crown with a rotating, round bezel
By turning the bezel around the screen, you can scroll through lists, zoom in and out of photos, adjust the volume, select items arranged in a circle, input numbers, and so on.

Sonos Version 5.4 Now in Public Beta
Coming soon on Sonos – sound enhancements for the PLAY:1, simpler setup for home theater, and more (now in beta).

Woman files suit after getting fired for deleting app that tracked her location
Attorneys for Arias said her boss admitted her location would be monitored outside of business hours and bragged that he knew the speed she was driving at specific moments as a result of the app. Plaintiff expressed that she had no problem with the app’s GPS function during work hours, but she objected to the monitoring of her location during non-work hours.

CEO Tim Armstrong Says AOL Is Staying In The Content Business
Armstrong: TechCrunch is not getting sold off. There will be editorial independence. And from a distribution and resource standpoint, it’s probably the most exciting deal we could have done.

Aol. Powered by Verizon

Dave Zatz —  May 12, 2015 — 21 Comments

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Who knows if this is an extra special promotion, merely a pricing mistake, or the end of the line for the Slingbox 500. Irrespective of reason, Sears is offering up the device once known as Sling TV for more than half off at $140. New, not refurb, and shipped free. At $300, the Slingbox 500 makes no sense. But with this fire sale pricing, you benefit from the same wireless connectivity found in the lower-end Slingbox M1 along with (sometimes frustrating) HDMI pass-thru and a few TV-based perks your Roku or Fire TV probably does much better. Despite the now ad-compromised experience, Slingbox remains the most versatile solution to stream your video within or beyond the home. Should this deal appeal, you better act fast… as I suspect it’ll be gone as quickly as that $300 TiVo OTA with Lifetime Service.

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Microsoft’s been in the DVR business for eons… and in all sorts of forms, like this long-forgotten LG set-top. They’ve also excelled at ignoring and exiting the DVR business. Which is why it should come as no surprise that Windows 10 will not feature any sort of Media Center experience. In fact, I wouldn’t have even thought to ask the question. Well, amidst release of the currently limited function Xbox One TV tuner comes word that television recording may return (via a more suitable platform in my estimation). Continue Reading…